Karel Hašler and Jaromír Vejvoda Comenius – Project
Karel Hašler Czech Republic Karel Hašler is author of many movie scripts and theatre revues, an author of 320 songs and many of them became folklore during his life already. He was born on 31 st of October 1879. Karel Hašler, tortured to death in 1941 in a concentration camp of Mauthausen, didn’t become a hero immediately and for a long time not much had been written or spoken about him. But his songs remained alive even on today’s social occasions, by the campfires in tens or maybe hundreds of modifications.
Through the generations, actors, singers and songwriters have been keeping on returning to his songs. Karel Hašler is a true father of Czech show-business. He was one of the OSA founder, very ministerial as a publisher, he engaged himself in silent and also sound movie, was a trade underagent of a disc maker and sold gramophones by himself. In Lucerna cabaret he even became a bartender, to insure all his cash flows. Karel Hašler, unfortunately, is the only personality in the Czech history, personally touched by all kinds of censorship. During his life it was the ausria-hungarian and nazi censorship that guided him to the concentration camp. And after his death for along time Hašler was censored mainly by the communists.
Roll out the Barrel in the world In english speaking countryBeer Barrel Polka Roll out the Barrel Here comes the Navy In GermanRosamunde Böhmische Polka In FranceFrida oum Papa In SwedenUt i naturen Dags för en polka In DenmarkHvor er min Kone In FinlandTonttujen joulupolkka In HungarySej – haj Rozi In ItalyRosamunda In BrazilBarril de Chapp In SpainPolka del Barril In JapanBeer Taru polka In PolandBanda In MexicoEl Barrilito
Jaromír Vejvoda - Musician, Composer and Bandleader Jaromír Vejvoda was born [on] 28 March 1902, in Zbraslav. The founder of the Vejvoda family's music tradition was Jaromír Vejvoda`s grandfather, and his successor was Jaromír Vejvoda`s father. Already from his youth Jaromír Vejvoda had devoted himself to music. As a six-year-old he learned to play the violin; at the age of 14 [he learned to play] the flugelhorn, and at [age] 15 he became a full-fledged member of his father's band. Upon returning from the military service, he took over the leadership of the band in Zbraslav after his father. Since the band had a relatively small repertoire, he also began to compose. All in all he wrote 82 compositions.
Of Jaromír Vejvoda`s compositions, his "Beer Barrel Polka" [Škoda lásky] indisputably deserves most [of our] attention. He wrote it for his band in the fall of 1927 in a form without the characteristic bass line. Since it lacked lyrics, he gave it the title of "Modřany Polka" [Modřanská polka]. In this form without the above-mentioned bass line, it was also recorded on the Esta phonograph record label by Beneš` Brass Band [Benešova dechová hudba]. In 1929, he wrote the bass line, and the polka was in the form it is in today. When bandleaders started chasing down the sheet music in Prague publishing houses, he got an offer from the Jan Hoffman's Widow Publishing House [nakladatelství Jana Hoffmana vdova] to present the composition arranged for brass band and string orchestras. Vašek Zeman supplied the polka with lyrics, and "Škoda lásky" [ Wasted Love, in Anglo- saxon world famous as „Roll up the Barrels“] came into the world. This happened in 1934. At the publishing house they stated that the polka had been issued, and a royalty of 150 crowns had been paid for it. As the composer himself said, royalties did not matter to him, he was entirely happy that his composition had come out in print. In 1939, this polka made it to the U.S.A. There, Lew Brown and Wladimir Timm rearranged it and provided it with English lyrics. Thus, "Škoda lásky," equipped with the title "Beer Barrel Polka," set out on its journey throughout America. It was published by the Shapiro-Bernstein publisher in New York in 1939. One of its most famous performances is the recording sung by the Andrews Sisters Trio. It became a popular song and the moral support of the Allied Armies and Czechoslovak pilots in the Battle of Britain. It accompanied the destiny of soldiers, the same as the destinies of ordinary, simple people at that time. Since it had been played almost all over the world, it became so accepted everywhere that it soon became adopted in almost all countries. Right after the war it became general knowledge that the composer is the Czech musician Jaromír Vejvoda of Zbraslav. The paradox was that it had been played on both sides of the front. It became the subject of many passionate discussions and wagers about its origin and its composer, precisely because in many countries it had simply been considered as having originated in the country in question.
A big surprise for everybody was the information that among other things was also that the recording of "Beer Barrel Polka" accompanied the workers of the NASA Space Center in 1995 and the astronauts of the Discovery Space Shuttle on their journey through space. For example it appears in the movies The Cruel Sea [Moře náš osud], A Heart in Captivity, The Longest Day, The Human Comedy, The Best Years of Our Lives, Public School, Heavenly Riders, The Assassination, Year 21, Man's Destiny, A Night in Casablanca, The London Bus, the TV series "MASH," and even more we do not know about. In the family archives there are recorded 14 different titles of the polka "Škoda lásky" as one of the 20 most successful folk songs. In 1987, on the occasion of the 85th birthday of Jaromír Vejvoda and the 60th anniversary of the polka "Škoda lásky`s" coming into being, the USA issued a sheet and postage stamps with the title "Beer Barrel Polka" in sheet music with part of the English lyrics "Roll Out the Barrel."
All three of the sons are working together on their father`s legacy in documenting his lifelong works. This is shown by the permanent exhibit on the life and works of Jaromír Vejvoda located in the restaurant with the name "Škoda lásky" in Zbraslav. Thus the polka "Škoda lásky" has returned to the place of its origin, the house in which it was written. In 1996, on the initiative of the Vejvoda Brothers the foundations were laid for the small brass-band festival "Vejvodova Zbraslav" [Vejvoda's Zbraslav]. Its main feature is a contest for the best interpretation of a selected Vejvoda composition. Since that time, this festival has been put on during the last weekend of September every year with the participation of Czech orchestras and orchestras from abroad and serves not only for propagating Czech brass-band music, but also for honoring the memory of one of its representatives. An indispensable part of the festival is also the concert of the Vejvoda Band directed under the baton of son Josef and granddaughter Monika. Jaromír Vejvoda died at the age of 86 on 13 November 1988 and is buried in the family crypt at the cemetery in Zbraslav. Jaromír Vejvoda had three sons: Jaromír, Jiří, and Josef. The first two, even though each of them started off with music, they have been devoting themselves to professions in a technical direction. Jaromír is in the field of electrical engineering, and Jiří is in construction. Josef had stayed true to the musical tradition not only as a professional musician in the field of jazz but also as a composer in the manner of his father.